I had a coffee with my dad and little sister recently. Well, my little sister drank a smoothie; because you really shouldn’t let thee year olds drink coffee.
Meanwhile, my little sister took her seat next to me at the café, looked at me sternly, wiggled her little finger in my face and said “You are not allowed to jump on the bed anymore”
I resisted the urge to tell her that she wasn’t the boss of me, you know... because she is only three, when Dad explained that he had caught Ms three jumping on the bed, so he told her of the time that I was jumping on the bed, and I fell into the aluminium blinds and sliced my neck open.
I vaguely remember it. I mean, I don’t remember jumping on the bed, nor the actual falling into the blinds or the ensuing carnage, but I do remember my Aunty coming over to look after my sibling while I went to the hospital, and I do remember sitting in my mothers lap in the front seat of the Cortina when we went.
My father had henceforth used this as an example of why you should never jump on the bed, or use aluminium blinds or position a child’s bed so close to the window.
I managed to cause quite a bit of damage to myself as a kid. None of these incidents I actually recall with any great detail, my parents however, remember every tiny detail.
Childhood carnage seems to be a rite of passage; I don’t think anyone goes through their childhood unscathed. It is part of growing up.
That is how I look back on my childhood injuries, but not necessarily how I see the many mishaps that my children have.
My children’s mishaps automatically feel like my fault. Like it was my job to protect them and I failed. Sometimes they REALLY were my fault, like the time I unstrapped the eldest from the shopping trolley, he was about two at the time, and I turned my back for two seconds to place the lunch on the table, when he fell out.
His forehead hit the tile with the most disgusting sound that I can still hear in my head to this day, and it still makes my blood run cold.
I squealed and he was eerily quiet, awake, but stunned, as I guess you would be if you just fell a good meter and a half head first onto an unforgiving surface.
I dropped the lunch and picked him up, there was a FLAT BIT on his forehead A FUCKING FLAT BIT!! That was visible for a micro second before a huge egg grew and promptly split open.
I Can’t… I can’t even. Anyway, long story short he was fine, I however am still recovering from the sound.
Or the time we visited a market, there were people EVERYWHERE, and I was gripping tightly the hand of our middle child, because he was a bolter.
You will never know the anxiety of having a child that is a bolter unless you have one yourself. These children take every opportunity to run, they run far and fast every time you let go of them, regardless of cars, roads, trains, deep water, sheer drops or how many people are around to get lost in. These children will often laugh with glee as you chase them, they LAUGH as you are mentally calculating if you are going to reach them before they hit the curb and into oncoming traffic.
I think I would have given Cathy Freeman a run for her money on a few adrenalin induced sprints running after this kid.
So anyway, this kid was doing his best to bolt in the middle of the market that was SO packed that he would have disappeared into the sea of people within two seconds, in my mind, never to be seen again. There was no way I was letting go of his hand, so he just dropped his legs out from under him, he just went limp in protest and decided that if I was not going to comply with his demands to run free like the wind, then he refused to cooperate with my demands to move at all. I kept a firm grip on his hand as he dropped and promptly pulled his elbow from the socket.
I DISLOCATED HIS FUCKING ELBOW!!!
I cried all the way to the emergency room, I cried to the doctor as I explained WHAT I HAD DONE TO HIM!! The doctor smiled and said that he saw this almost every day. It was very common apparently, to dislocate your own toddlers elbow.
Long story short, he was fine. I however, am still recovering.
Then there was the time that we moved. We were standing in the kitchen of our new house, among many boxes, half unpacked and sprawled all over the floor, deciding what we were having for dinner and how we may remodel the space, when the youngest (Who was about two and a half) let out a blood curdling scream. We turned to discover that she had near taken her little toe off, treading on the blender blade that had been unpacked, still wrapped in newspaper, and left irresponsibly on the floor.
I had CUT HER FUCKING TOE OFF WITH MY LAZINESS IN UNPACKING!!!!
In the car on the way to the emergency room, she kept saying that she was cold and I panicked, telling cabbage to drive faster. Surely she had lost too much blood and was going into shock, when Cabbage reminded me that it was mid June and about four degrees out. Everyone was cold.
Turns out that she had not nearly taken her little toe off, it just looked like it. A bit of glue later, and long story short. She was fine. Me however? Well third child in I am accepting that
I just now have my own tales of why you shouldn’t jump on the bed, or turn your back on an unrestrained child in a shopping trolley or why you should just give an erect middle finger to the disapproving stares of other people, and put a child leash on your bolter, and why you should not leave kitchen appliances wrapped in newspaper on the floor.
My children remember no specific details of the mishaps whilst cabbage and I remember every blood curdling minute. The kids delight in hearing their story retold, the hows and the why’s and the lessons we learned.
I guess these things are just as much a rite of passage for parents as they are for children growing up. I am sure one day we will laugh about it, But not today.. *Turns ashen with a cold dread.
What did you do to your kid? SPILL…
(This one is for a friend who had her own rite of passage recently) xx